Thanks for the kind words and for reading my story. I 'm happy that you responded.

Most mainstream media sources will twist anything regarding the Church, as the original article did. This article from the Guardian and the quote from it that you have just posted do the same thing.

The speech that Benedict is giving is from a homily on the gospel for Palm Sunday. He's not referring to the abuse scandal at all. Here's the paragraph that the quote they take is from, which talks about Jesus going up to Jerusalem in the gospel, and which shows the context that he is speaking in. I write it not to promote the religion but just to try to give a fair picture of what he is saying.

"Jesus goes ahead of us, and he goes up to what is above. He leads us to what is great and pure, he leads us to the healthy air of the heights: to life according to truth; to the courage that does not let itself be intimidated by the gossip of dominant opinions; to the patience that stands up for and supports the other. He leads us to availability to the suffering, to the abandoned; to the loyalty that stands with the other even when the situation makes it difficult."
From http://www.zenit.org/article-28783?l=english

What he says is to not let majority opinion intimidate us such that we don't stand up for people who need it, and that we should be available to the suffering and the abandoned. It's a very pro-Male Survivor type of teaching.

If one reads news regarding the Church from the mainstream news sources they will twist it; the reporters have their biases and sensational headlines with brief quotes get a lot more web traffic than long homilies and letters. If you check the original speech or whatever they're talking about it's almost always misrepresented. There're plenty of terrible people in the Church without making it seem worse than it is; it's hard enough to avoid discouragement without overlooking the real rays of hope. The only way to get to know the man is to read his own words without a go-between interpreting it.

I know it's hard to get past the sense of betrayal that comes with being an abuse victim, and I've had my own run-ins with predatory or dishonest clergy, and am generally very distrustful and cynical myself, but the more that I have gotten to know Benedict over the years the more I have found him inspiring. There are many who are not frauds, but they don't get the press.

I'm going to close here with a long quote from a letter that the Pope wrote to the Church in Ireland specifically to address the abuse scandal there. It's the two sections that he addresses #1) to abuse victims and #2) to predator priests and religious. I write this not to promote Catholicism or proselytize but just to try to fairly represent Benedict.

Thanks again. All the best,


"6. To the victims of abuse and their families

You have suffered grievously and I am truly sorry. I know that nothing can undo the wrong you have endured. Your trust has been betrayed and your dignity has been violated. Many of you found that, when you were courageous enough to speak of what happened to you, no one would listen. Those of you who were abused in residential institutions must have felt that there was no escape from your sufferings. It is understandable that you find it hard to forgive or be reconciled with the Church. In her name, I openly express the shame and remorse that we feel. At the same time, I ask you not to lose hope. It is in the communion of the Church that we encounter the person of Jesus Christ, who was himself a victim of injustice and sin. Like you, he still bears the wounds of his own unjust suffering. He understands the depths of your pain and its enduring effect upon your lives and your relationships, including your relationship with the Church. I know some of you find it difficult even to enter the doors of a church after all that has occurred. Yet Christís own wounds, transformed by his redemptive sufferings, are the very means by which the power of evil is broken and we are reborn to life and hope. I believe deeply in the healing power of his self-sacrificing love Ė even in the darkest and most hopeless situations Ė to bring liberation and the promise of a new beginning.

Speaking to you as a pastor concerned for the good of all Godís children, I humbly ask you to consider what I have said. I pray that, by drawing nearer to Christ and by participating in the life of his Church Ė a Church purified by penance and renewed in pastoral charity Ė you will come to rediscover Christís infinite love for each one of you. I am confident that in this way you will be able to find reconciliation, deep inner healing and peace.

7. To priests and religious who have abused children

You betrayed the trust that was placed in you by innocent young people and their parents, and you must answer for it before Almighty God and before properly constituted tribunals. You have forfeited the esteem of the people and brought shame and dishonour upon your brothers. Those of you who are priests violated the sanctity of the sacrament of Holy Orders in which Christ makes himself present in us and in our actions. Together with the immense harm done to victims, great damage has been done to the Church and to the public perception of the priesthood and religious life.

I urge you to examine your conscience, take responsibility for the sins you have committed, and humbly express your sorrow. Sincere repentance opens the door to Godís forgiveness and the grace of true amendment. By offering prayers and penances for those you have wronged, you should seek to atone personally for your actions. Christís redeeming sacrifice has the power to forgive even the gravest of sins, and to bring forth good from even the most terrible evil. At the same time, Godís justice summons us to give an account of our actions and to conceal nothing. Openly acknowledge your guilt, submit yourselves to the demands of justice, but do not despair of Godís mercy. "